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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 8:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Having seen Jerry quite regularly from late 1970 through the summer of '82, his weight never seemed to be an 'issue' then. I remember standing about 40' from him at Des Moines in June of '74, and thinking he seemed to have 'grown' slightly over the winter, having been about 40' from him in the spring and fall of '73. At Des Moines, we joked that it could just be that he was wearing a red sweatshirt, instead of the usual dark blue t-shirt. But it was a bit confusing as he was clean-shaven, making his face look thinner by comparison. From summer of '74 through summer of '82, the change was gradual - we all joked that life must be good, and he was getting 'comfortable' with it. I must say though, that with each successive time I saw him through the '80's, the change was startling and disturbing. The difference between '82 and '84 was quite noticeable, from '84 to '87 was a concern, from '87 to '90 seismic and disturbing, and summer of '95 was just disheartening - even frightening, if not foretelling. We are all capable of following that same ever-widening path, but I must say that watching Jerry's trajectory has been a sobering personal reminder to try to monitor and maintain that which gravity and lifestyle allow.

Your man, Eric Clapton and the svelte septuagenerian bass players, Phil and Jack Casady are all good examples that one can maintain healthy physical boundaries and still pursue the life of an aging touring musician.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

" from '87 to '90 seismic and disturbing"

I think he looked really good 89-91. At least in comparison to the mid 80's and after 91. Over weight sure but he looked like he was taking care of himself more imo

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

I did reconsider my thoughts on that '87 to '90 statement after posting. When I saw Jerry in '88 with the Dead, Dylan and Tom Petty in Minneapolis, he looked worse - in body and in spirit - than when I saw him in Long Beach in '87.
Didn't see him in '89, but when I saw him the last of 3 nights at Wembley in London he looked and sounded completely worn down.

JOTS, you are probably right in your assessment of those years. My "seismic and disturbing' comment in this case was also alluding to the shock factor of having seen a surprisingly energetic Jerry at Long Beach Arena in November '87, playing with clarity, creativity and , at times, fierceness. His voice, though worn, still carried emotion and depth - through the encore. Whereas when I saw him in London at the end of the European tour of '90, he had lost so much of that energetic spark and joyful sparkle in his playing he sounded and played like a weak, minimalistic shadow of his former self, and his voice could barely make it through the first set. It was all very saddening (with the worst grateful dead train wreck - the U.S. Blues encore - that this longtime fan had ever seen).

Not having followed the Dead live nearly as much in the '80's as in the 70's, these were my impressions. I didn't see them after that Wembley gig until a friend persuaded me to take a road trip to Deer Creek for that fateful 7/2/95 debacle.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 12:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

ooh bad timing I guess. Well I think the 87 phenominon found the band really ramping it up all the way around. And I think 88 was definitely a step back but even if you dont agree musically look at the actual pics of Jer 89-91. Looked MUCH better I think

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Bad timing, indeed. It was sheer luck that I caught that Long Beach 11/15/87 show - that was the last time I saw Jerry with any fire in his playing. A recent listening to Wembley 10/31/90 showed a Jerry that was a bit more familiar to these ears . . . too bad he shot that wad and was pretty much spent by the next night when I caught him.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

This was also the last 'good' show that I saw - and it was surprisingly good (especially after the dreadful Anaheim Dylan show). I saw only a small handful of shows in 88-89 but this was the last time I had a great time at a show ...

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

There's a killer aud of 11-14 that I enjoy.checking out the 11-15 now.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

Agreed. While I might be hesitant to say he looked "healthy", he definitely seemed to have dropped a cup size or two (could you get a tye-dye Manzier?) AND decided that showering might be a good idead.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

exactly! his hygeine definitely was up a bunch of notches.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 5:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

"he definitely seemed to have dropped a cup size or two (could you get a tye-dye Manzier?) AND decided that showering might be a good idead."

Now that's a mean shot across the bow. Man's greatest nightmare - moobs!

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Nov 12, 2010 3:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

that would be a tasteful black manzier, no?

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 12, 2010 11:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

"and still pursue the life of an aging touring musician."

I'm sure that must get old fast. Going out and playing music while getting paid lots of money. :)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 12, 2010 2:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Your impression of Jerry thru the years...

You know, I've always thought along those lines too (about "it" getting old), but having gone thru a related transition in my own life, I have begun to think it might be more complicated. EG, as a teacher, I more or less just "did it" the first 25 yrs as part of the job allowing me to be what I always wanted to be (biologist). Patting myself on the back, I was always good at it, but it was completely secondary, and I did it as part of the job, for myself. Now, however, when it hardly matters at all (ie, I could screw it up, take it easy, be lazy with few consequences, etc.), I find I get a great deal more out of it due to the strong positive reactions I receive...again, sorry for the stomach turning selfcongratulatory theme, but making the pt that now it is via the connection and positive feedback that I find much more enjoyment in something that I was sure I'd burn out on. I think that the same thing might be akin to what older musical sorts find, and it might also explain why smaller settings, etc., are to their liking. Anyhow, knowing you make a difference to the folks ends up being more rewarding later in life, at some level, than was necessary when young and full of oneself, if you follow. Maybe not...of course, I am so full of myself, there's hardly room for anything else, right? Har, har--I hope.

Not that I am ignoring the fact that big bucks makes a huge difference, but you get the idea.